Google+ adds photo, video tools to ramp up challenge (Update)

Oct 29, 2013
Google+ on Tuesday added "auto-amazing" photo and video tools for telling artful life stories at the online social network, ramping up its challenge to Facebook

Google+ on Tuesday added "auto-amazing" photo and video tools for telling artful life stories at the online social network, ramping up its challenge to Facebook.

"Google aims to revolutionize photography," Google senior vice president Vic Gundotra said while introducing a host of new social networking features at an art gallery in San Francisco.

Photo and video sharing are among prime uses of online social networks. Gundotra said that Google+ users upload about 1.5 billion images weekly.

He also announced the that number of people who use Google's two-year-old social network at least once a month has climbed to 540 million from about 300 million early this year.

Facebook still dominates the world of online social networking, boasting more than a billion users.

Google hoped to bolster the popularity of its social network with the addition of photo and video editing tools that automatically provide users with professional quality images and custom-made movies.

Tools for automatically editing images and even creating mini-animated sequences of images or moment-capturing action shots were added.

An "auto-awesome eraser" feature allow Google+ users to make unwanted people or objects in images disappear.

Google also beefed up search image search capabilities, increasing the number of terms that can be used to find specific pictures.

The list of a thousand new terms included snow, beach, kiss, hug and sunset. Searches for such terms find pictures with the objects, people or actions even if they are not tagged with caption information.

"You can say the name of your loved one, at the beach, with sunglasses, and Google+ will bring up that image," Gundotra said.

The power of Google's data centers and software were also aimed at videos uploaded to the social network.

Video tools offered to automatically analyze video clips and images, and then weave them into movies complete with synched music sound tracks.

"Google+ has created an auto-awesome movie for you," Gundotra said while showing off new features.

"This is not some little client editing system; this is the power of Google machine learning applied to photos and videos."

Google+ also unveiled improvements to its "hangouts" features that let people video conference free at the social network.

For example, organizers of hangouts can oust unwanted participants or turn up the volume on others.

"We are not building a service for lightweight sharing," Gundotra said.

"We are building a service where you can trust Google with the full resolution of your memories. And we are just getting started."

Explore further: Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google+ tops 40 million users

Oct 13, 2011

Google co-founder and chief executive Larry Page on Thursday said that its online social networking challenge to Facebook is growing fast and has topped 40 million users.

Review: Google photo tools won't replace humans

Aug 08, 2013

It can take months, even years, for me to share photos from a trip. The more shots I take, the more I dread going through them to delete bad shots and perform tweaks such as brightening dark shots. So I was intrigued when ...

Google boosts photo offerings to rival Facebook

May 16, 2013

Google is digging deeper into its technology toolkit to turn its social networking service into a more formidable threat to Facebook, sprucing up its photo features at a time when sharing snapshots online ...

Recommended for you

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

Dec 18, 2014

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution demanding better digital privacy protections for people around the world, another response to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government spying.

Online privacy to remain thorny issue: survey

Dec 18, 2014

Online privacy will remain a thorny issue over the next decade, without a widely accepted system that balances user rights and personal data collection, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.